my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?


Happy New Year!

Here's to a new year in which there is always the warmly backlit window of home, a pet who cares where we are and an abundance of fresh fruit. Everything else will sort itself out.

May 2007 be as good as I think it's going to be.

Happy New Year!

gratitude to Jana for the beautiful photo (and to Seamus)


It Was The Best of Years ...

Because I love Annie and Blogdorf Goodman, I'm taking time out from my box-packing ways to bring you my Best of the Year.

Beauty. It's a burden. A responsibility. Here's how I did it in 2006. (Please hold your applause until all the winners are announced.)

Cellular Skin Rx SuperMax Multi-Peptide Skin Solution Serum
Cellular Skin Rx C+ Firming Serum
MD Forte I and II Cleanser or

Aveda Tourmaline Exfoliating Cleanser
Aveda Tourmaline Charged Moisturizer
Jane Iredale Circle/Delete concealer in 1
Aveda Dual Foundation in Cream
MAC eyeliner pencil in Phone Number
Aveda Shadow Plus Vitamins in Olivine
Jane Iredale pure pressed blush in Whisper
Clinique Lash Doubling mascara
Revlon Colorstay Overtime lipcolor in Bare Maximum, rubbed off to a stain
Fragrance: Ormonde Jayne Tolu if you force me to choose
Nail polish: the I Will Survive set from Lippmann Collection for fingers; anything dark red for toes.

Hey, I'm a minimalist. (And, no, I do not look like Marie Antoinette with all this stuff on. Blend! Blend! Blend!)

Special mention goes to the Besame product line, with which I have a fascination ... I've written of their retro-themed products; favorites include their Cotton Candy lipglaze and Sweet Pink rouge. When you want to make a glamour statement, please try these lovely -- and beautifully presented -- products.

Check out my sister bloggers for the REALLY strange, wonderful and expensive (I'm going to) ...

  • Afrobella
  • All About The Pretty

  • Aromascope

  • Beauty Addict

  • Beauty Blogging Junkie
  • Beauty by Nadine

  • Beautiful Makeup Search & Beauty Blog
  • Beauty Hatchery

  • Beauty Jones

  • Blogdorf Goodman

  • Bois de Jasmin

  • BonBons in the Bath

  • Brain Trapped in Girl's Body

  • Capital Hill Barbie

  • C'est Chic

  • Coquette

  • Crazy Jay Blue
  • eBeautyDaily

  • Girl's Handbook

  • Hautemommastuff

  • Koneko's *Mostly* Beauty Diary!

  • Legerdenez

  • Makeup Bag

  • Monkeyposh

  • My Muse

  • No one knows why the wolf laughs

  • Now Smell This

  • Perfume Smellin' Things

  • Peppermint Patty's Perfume Posse

  • Platinum Blonde Life

  • Product Girl

  • Scentzilla!

  • She'll Be Feverish After So Much Thinking

  • Slap of the Day

  • The Customer Is Always Right

  • The Daily Obsession

  • The Great She Elephant

  • The Life As A Ladybug
  • The Non-Blonde

  • Urbane Girl

  • Victoria's Own

  • and have a beautiful 2007!


    Oh Dear God, Fiona.

    Above is my favorite line from Dr. Cox of Scrubs, as he addresses the idiots he is trying forge into doctors.

    Anyway. I hate moving. And now I remember why.

    How in the world could we have collected So Much Crap? I use that word advisedly.

    So, that is one reason why you're not getting a real post today. Because I am busy throwing away crap. Organizing crap. Sorting crap into boxes. And closing and sealing boxes of crap.

    Wish me luck and forbearance.



    *click to better see Edward Gorey's take on gift-giving*

    Tonight is the Silent Night

    Winding around dark streets of our old neighborhood Friday night, on the way home from our favorite Greek restaurant ... all the lights festooned on bushes and eaves make it a different world. Really a much prettier place than this neighborhood usually is.

    Yesterday, running around to the grocery store, to the office supplies store, coming home to hurriedly get in my one contribution to holiday cooking this year: stars, trees, angels, Christmas cookies all in white frosting with red sprinkles (not my best decorating effort), watching "Bells of St. Mary's" and falling into bed exhausted.

    Today we'll go to Macrina bakery to pick up a traditional Almond Cake for tomorrow's dinner at Mary Anne's, I'll pack my perfumes while making the Italian fish soup, Cioppino, which we'll eat in celebration of Christmas Eve, then -- as my favorite part of the holiday descends, the peace and quiet of everything shutting down on the most silent night of the year, we'll watch "It's a Wonderful Life" ... and spare some thought for this, our last Christmas in this place.

    I have lived here with Jim for five years, he's lived here 18 years. Never the most aesthetic abode, it was nonetheless a place of comfort and safety for me. I came here on emotionally shaky ground and found a man who went a long way toward healing my hurt heart, my skewed mind. How much he's taught me, and all he's given me, can't be enumerated here. He raised his son -- now a man with an intense intellect and a good heart who's built his own life -- here. Our dear Asta lived and died here (her ashes will come with us to the new house). Bucky -- fearful, snappish and anxious -- joined us here, and became the sweet, loyal, beautiful boy he now is to us. I gained a new livelihood and found my first job in it here.

    I am sorry to leave, eager to go.

    Christmas holiday intensifies whatever emotion is now in your life. This year, I feel grateful, rich, sad, excited, melancholy, eager ... but gratitude is the dominant emotion. Thank you God, for all you have given me.

    Merry Christmas to all who celebrate her ... and the Happiest of Holidays to all.


    Saint Joan ... in Paris

    My friend Bela, in Paris last weekend (!) snapped this picture of St. Joan and sent it to me ... because she knew I would love it. And I do.


    Have Yourself An Ecumenical Little Holiday

    With the recent hoohah about Christmas trees and Seattle-Tacoma Airport (The trees are up! They're down! They're up, again!), we find ourselves once again in the season for arguing about holiday ornamentation.

    Oh, for God's sake.

    Speaking as a Jew, who was once a Protestant Christian educated by Catholic nuns, and who has leanings toward Taoism on alternate Tuesdays, I have a suggestion:

    Why don't you do what makes YOU happy, and let everybody else do what makes them happy?

    For instance, I enjoy a wildly-lit Christmas tree (in all its once-Pagan glory) standing next to my collection of menorahs. It reminds me of my childhood, even as the menorahs remind me of the happier times of my first marriage.

    Have enough generosity of spirit -- enough self-possession and faith in the strength of your own faith -- to let others celebrate right in front of you without demanding "EQUAL TIME! EQUAL TIME!"

    It's silly to argue over trees vs. menorahs vs. whatever. That argument has nothing to do with the rights of minorities to practice their own faiths.

    It has everything to do with understanding that a symbol that means nothing to you may mean everything to someone else. Let them have that symbol, and enjoy it, and go home to where you proudly, profoundly, display the symbols to which you are emotionally drawn.

    Be happy that others are celebrating in their way, even as you are celebrating in yours.

    To my Jewish friends and family, Happy Chanukah. I will make -- and eat -- a latke for you.


    Bucky and I Debating World Issues

    Drawing by the inimitable Edward Gorey


    Myrna Would Love It

    I speak often of my affection for the retro-theme cosmetic line, B├ęsame ... and it's a pleasure to talk about their newest, enriched lip glazes.

    I've tried two shades: Cotton Candy and Shimmer Peach, and worn them only alone (they're beautiful) ... but you can also layer them over lipstick with good effect.

    I really like their moisturizing ability. Although you get '30s glamour, there's a cosmeceutical component to the product, with vitamins A, C, E, and anti-oxidant green tea extract, *anti-aging* marine collagen, aloe vera, and squalene.

    For scent mavens, the product wafts a light vanilla fragrance.

    I'll be participating in Blogdorf Goodman's Best of 2006 on December 29 ... this product will definitely make that list.


    Today's Bouquet of Wisdom ...

    Don't criticize what you can't understand.

    And today's fragrance is Creative Scentualization's Perfect Veil. Recent discussion of anosmia lead me to believe I can't fully smell musk, which is a significant note in Veil. My solution? Slap some more on.

    So, if you see a bunch of lawyers in my office who have fainted from musk overdose, um, that would be my fault.


    Archetypically Speaking

    Yesterday's post from Wikipedia discussing the meaning of Fleur-de-lis was my lazy minded intro to my thoughts of how and why a particular symbol strikes a chord in one.

    People as symbols -- archetypes -- are significant in my life. I've had a lot of psychotherapy (I know -- you couldn't tell) and some of those expensive minutes were spent talking about the Jungian approach to personality construction.

    That is, that there may be certain elemental aspects of each of us that are common to all of us.

    My friend L, whose blog Laurelines is a veritable gallery of her profound artistic skill, recently captured some beautiful representations of Joan of Arc, an archetype close to my heart.

    What is there about Joan -- as a symbol -- that makes her so important to me? (And yesterday's Fleur-de-lis was also a nod to her.)

    Her story is one of faith and futility, of obstinately being true to one's beliefs in the face of jeering crowds and clerics.

    In a strange way, she is quixotic -- but, in my mind, she is the archetypal female tilting at windmills, who WILL NOT STOP even as she is torn to pieces by whirring blades.

    A female who will not be deterred by any man who says she isn't what she says she is, cannot do what she intends to do, and could not possibly be receiving direction from God. Because, as everyone knew, God would not speak to a woman.

    That is her faith. In herself and her beliefs, as much as in God.

    And, of course, there is the futility: whether or not she has a mandate from God compelling her to move forward, she does inevitably fail. She wins, and then she loses. (And, I suppose, her sainthood means she wins.)

    But her faith is never shaken, and that makes it even more appealing to me. For that is true faith, when there is absolutely no reason to maintain the belief that will pull you to the pyre.

    And listening to the voices of angels, speaking to you in consolation, as the world of men sees to your immolation. Reaching for a symbol of heaven to comfort you in crossing over, through death to the everlasting life earned by your (ultimately futile?) obstinate faith.



    from Wikipedia ...

    "The fleur-de-lis is a stylised design of an iris flower which is used both decoratively and symbolically ... As a religious symbol it may represent the Holy Trinity, or be an iconographic attribute of the archangel Gabriel, notably in representations of the Annunciation. It is also associated with the Virgin Mary ...

    In the Middle Ages the symbols of lily and fleur-de-lis overlapped considerably in religious art. Michel Pastoureau, the historian, says that until about 1300 they were found in depictions of Jesus, but gradually they took on Marian symbolism and were associated with the Song of Solomon's "lily among thorns" (lilium inter spinas), understood as a reference to Mary.

    Other scripture and religious literature in which the lily symbolizes purity and chastity also helped establish the flower as an iconographic attribute of the Virgin.

    In medieval England, from the mid-12th century, a noblewoman's seal often showed the lady with a fleur-de-lis, drawing on the Marian connotations of "female virtue and spirituality". Images of Mary holding the flower first appeared in the 11th century on coins issued by cathedrals dedicated to her, and next on the seals of cathedral chapters, starting with Notre Dame de Paris in 1146.

    The flowers may be "simple fleurons, sometimes garden lilies, sometimes genuine heraldic fleurs-de-lis". As attributes of the Madonna, they are often seen in pictures of the Annunciation, famously in those of Botticelli and Filippo Lippi. Lippi also uses both flowers in other related contexts: for instance, in his Madonna in the Forest.

    The three petals of the heraldic design reflect a widespread association with the Holy Trinity, a tradition going back to 14th century France, added onto the earlier belief that they also represented faith, wisdom and chivalry."


    Rabbit, Rabbit!